Celeste Matarazzo

With concern growing over the impact of hacking, data breaches of confidential information, and national security threat to networks, information technology, and the critical infrastructure that depends on them, there has never been a greater need for Livermore to apply its strengths in high-performance computing to cybersecurity. Conducting threat analysis and large-scale network modeling in support of cybersecurity is one goal of Livermore’s mission focuses.

Celeste Matarazzo, a principal investigator within the Center for Applied Scientific Computing, leads a strategic initiative research project in cybersecurity situational awareness.  She is also the founder, in 2009, of the Laboratory’s Cyber Defenders summer internship program for undergraduates, graduate students, and others. The program is designed to provide hands-on training to potential future cybersecurity experts. A Livermore employee for more than 30 years, Matarazzo has worked in a variety of assignments—according to her, the equivalent of having several careers. The common thread is computational data science. “The focus of my work is bringing computing solutions, especially data analytical solutions to all sorts of problems,” she says.

Matarazzo has worked in climate modeling, brought new computers to Livermore, and served as a division leader for computer scientists and technicians working on a global security-related effort. In her current assignment, also in the global security field, she is helping to imagine the secure network of the future, and working to improve the cybersecurity of networks. One of the Laboratory’s mission’s in multi-domain deterrence calls for advancing cyber and network science to ensure the resilience of the complex cyber-physical systems throughout the nation’s critical infrastructure.

After receiving her B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Adelphi University and graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she came to Livermore in 1987, interested in its national security mission, but she also liked how important computation is to the success of the Laboratory. “Foundationally, computation is in our DNA. It’s a part of every discipline here,” she says. Coming from a family where science was a part of life—her father was an aeronautical engineer—Matarazzo has thrived in Livermore’s atmosphere of diversity of science and people. “It’s like being a kid in a candy store. I’m thrilled at having the ability to move around, and work with different people on different things.”